Tips for Sterilizing your Kitchen Sponges


Reuse sponges can easily absorb bacteria and viruses whenever they are being used for a long period of time without being sterilized. Even if you clean them through the dishwasher or washing them in the sink, it is still not enough. The reused sponges need to be regularly sterilized for the purpose of health safety not only to you but also to your families. Due to its regular usage of cleaning your daily dishes, kitchen appliances and also wiping up spilling foods, it really need to always be clean. The sponges are made of squishy polyurethane foam that enables it to absorb liquid and at the same time retain its shape. For sponges that are used excessively, it might harbor bacteria such as the harmful pathogens, viruses as well as microbes that come from eggs, meats and vegetables. For those of you who do not sterilize your kitchen sponges regularly, you or your family members might even be infected by food-borne illnesses like Salmonella and hepatitis A. Whenever you notice there is bad smell coming from your sponges, make sure that you dispose them immediately because this objects are definitely hotbeds for germs that can fast enough become one of the most filthiest and unhealthy items in your kitchen. That is why you should clean your sponges at least three or four days and also sterilize the sponges weekly so that you could prevent contamination in order to maintain the cleanliness of your kitchen. Below are some of the steps that you can use for sterilizing your kitchen sponges.


To sterilize kitchen sponge, you need:

  • Cool water
  • Microwave-safe bowl
  • Microwave
  • Bleach


Sterilizing Kitchen Sponges

Tips for Sterilizing your Kitchen Sponges

  • The first thing that you need to do is to rinse the sponges using cool water in order to wash out any loose food debris and grime.
    • Make sure to also wring out excess liquid that you notice from the sponges.
    • Another method that you can use is to soak the sponges overnight in a mixture of 1 cup (250ml) hot water, 1/2 cup (125ml) white vinegar and 3 tablespoons salt. On the next day, you should rinse and squeeze the sponges so that you can remove any of the accumulated cleaning liquid still reside in the sponges.


  • Take a microwave-safe bowl and fill it with 1/2 cup of cool water.
    • Next thing to do is to lay the sponges that you want to sterilize into the microwave-safe bowl that you have fill up with water.


Always ensure that your sponges are wet before starting to place them inside your microwave. This is because a dry sponge can easily caught fire once it is placed into a microwave. DO NOT leave the microwave unattended while you are placing sponges inside it.


  • Then, you have to place the bowl into the microwave before you set the setting to the highest level for approximately two minutes.
    • You must always operate the microwave by adhering to the guidance provided by the microwave’s manufacturer.


  • Remember to leave the bowl to cool down thoroughly before taking it out of your microwave.


  • You must always wait until the water has cool down completely before you can start removing the sponges away from the bowl.
    • Once the sponge is cool, you would be able to reuse the sponge again.

  • Another technique that you can use is by sterilizing the sponges with bleach.
    • Firstly, you need to add 1 teaspoon of bleach into a cup of water.
    • Then, you need to soak the sponges into the mixture of bleach solution for approximately 5 minutes.
    • Finally, you should wring out the bleach solution from the sponge before you can reuse the sponge again.

    According to research done by ARS Food Technology and Safety Laboratory in Beltsville, they concluded that by microwaving reused sponges can help killed 99.99999 percent of bacteria while using a dishwasher to clean reuse sponges only killed 99.9998 percent of bacteria. When it comes to yeasts and molds, by microwaving or even dishwashing your sponges result shows that the sponges only harbor less than 1 percent (0.00001 percent) of it. However, when you soaked the sponges in bleach, lemon juice, de-ionized water or do not sterilize them at all between 6.7 and 63 percent of yeasts and molds survived on the sponges.

    Always remember that whenever you want to sterilize kitchen sponges

    • You can simply substitute a dishwasher’s drying cycle for at least two minutes inside your microwave.
    • Make sure to carefully handle the bowl so that you can avoid any mishap such as burning yourself.

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